December 20, 2013


The holiday season is one of traditions. And with the girls and I doing some holiday tag videos over on the YouTube channel, we've been doing a lot of thinking about those traditions.

We have several in the E household, some common and at least one that's a bit off the wall. But all of them are much beloved by Hubby and me anyway, and they're both expected and looked forward to starting around Halloween.

First, as I've mentioned before, we always put up our holiday decorations the day after Thanksgiving. Once everything is up, we have a dinner of leftovers and then pile on the sofa to enjoy the first Christmas special of the year and the first cup of eggnog.

Holiday Traditions
Boo Bear & Sneak decorating the tree this year.

This year we happened to watch "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," which we discovered is the girls' favorite when we shot the Holly Jolly Holiday Tag last week. I'd also managed to get a good bit of our gifts purchased by then this year, so there was some gift wrapping going on that evening as well.

Some people say just after Thanksgiving is too soon to put up the tree, but in a season that can be so stressful, any source of peace and joy is a blessing. I don't know about you, but I find something very soothing in the warm setting and the twinkle lights. So, we have the decorations to enjoy from Thanksgiving until New Year's Day, when we take everything back down again for a new start.

Holiday Traditions
This is how the decorations came out this year.
When it comes to Christmas, there are all sorts of things that have become tradition. Some things are small details and/or carry overs from Hubby and my families like new pajamas on Christmas Eve and a toothbrush in the stocking. Others are unique to us like baking Raesh cakes around the middle of the month to give out to coworkers or picking a day to have a Lord of the Rings marathon.

Holiday Traditions Spice Cake Recipe
These are Raesh Cakes. The picture doesn't do them justice.

I'm really looking forward to the LOTR marathon we have planned for boxing day this year. It's one tradition we didn't get to keep last year because we had the trilogy on VHS only, and our VHS/DVD combo died early in 2012. Sneak doesn't even remember the tradition!

How'd it get started?

Boo Bear's first Christmas was actually rather miserable for us adults. There was a stomach flu sweeping through the area, and pretty much everyone in the family other than Boo Bear caught it within two or three days of Christmas. Hubby and I came down with it Christmas night, and we sent her to stay with my family. She bounced from there to my grandparents as my parents came down with it. And then from there to Hubby's family before coming back home.

Even after we "recovered," Hubby and I felt weak and sluggish for a few days, and at this time, Boo Bear was having a lot of trouble sleeping because of muscle ticks that would start up when she'd reach REM sleep. (Apparently this isn't entirely common but still within the norms for an infant's developing nervous system.) The only way to get her to sleep through was to swaddle her tight and lay with her snuggled on my chest, so during those days before Hubby went back to work, we'd stay up cuddled together on the couch and watch movies. 

One particularly rough day, we ended up watching the whole LOTR trilogy. The next year, we ended up doing the same when we all felt fine just to try and reclaim those memories with something more positive, and the tradition stuck.

What are your traditions this time of year? Do you have any that might be considered "weird" or that are unique to your family?

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